10+ Years into the game.
Never rely on a platform you don’t own.
That’s it, that’s my best advice for you.
The most precious piece of “content creation wisdom” that I’ve gained over more than ten years of blogging and creating various types of online content.
You can close the browser window now or you can stick around a little more to find out what informs my advice and what secondary recommendations stem from it.
Ah, so you’ve stayed. Thank you.
Let’s see what else I’ve got for you.
Hopefully, you will find some of this stuff useful.
Why You Should Never Rely On An Online Platform You Do Not Own
This goes for any type of external online medium — social media, business websites, blogs owned by others, etc.
- It can all be taken away from you in an instant. You can lose your account and the access to the audience you’ve built on an external platform in a second and without being notified. What you’ve worked for for years can go poof in a second for a variety of reasons — the platform rightfully locks your account, there’s a glitch in the algorithm and it locks your account, the platform disappears, or legal aspects determine a government to restrict access to an online platform.
- That’s not necessarily the audience you need for your business. The crowd you surround yourself with on an external platform, especially on social media, is not your crowd. Whoever follows you to get free content or engage in a fun conversation is not necessarily interested in your business or craft.
- You bring more value to the platform than the platform returns to you. You end up working to mainly boost engagement in an environment that does not directly repay you for it — not in a meaningful mode, anyway. That’s not where your main efforts should go. Don’t waste your energy working for someone else, especially for free. [Unless you really want to. In that situation… well, this post is not intended for you.]
What Is The Best Way To Be Present On And Use External Platforms Such As Social Media?
My post does not aim to discourage you from being present on other platforms.
Its target is to reframe the way you think about posting content on other websites than your own.
And the main principle is simple: Use the external platforms more than they use you.
How to do that?
Here are some of my suggestions:
- Never create specific content for platforms that are not yours. Repurpose your existing content to fit the format of that platform, but I would never advise you to think in terms of “New Twitter/Instagram/YouTube content”. You should only consider your own website or blog — you need new content that mainly fits that and then you make it work for everything else. In this way, you’ll have fewer things on your plate — because you don’t have to spread yourself thin — and you won’t end up hating an activity that you otherwise love.
- Redirecting traffic toward your website/blog should be the main goal. That is the predominant use for external platforms, in my view. People discover me, my blogs, and my courses. And they click.
- Use external platforms to increase brand awareness. Showcase your knowledge and skills. Like a trial version for all the things that you’re good at. It is where you can reach your potential audience.
- Use external platforms for networking. This is their best feature. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can help you discover incredible professionals in your field. Connect.
- Never set targets based on platform-specific metrics and rewards. Followers, likes, and a verified account may boost your ego and apparent social proof but definitely won’t pay your bills.
- If you post original content on an external platform, make sure you can transform it later into material for your own business. Tweet all you want, post photos and answers everywhere, write on Medium and similars, do whatever you want but backup everything, and have it ready to be compiled or transformed into fresh, extended posts for your own platform, or at least serve as inspiration for them.
- Don’t let external platforms suck the energy out of you and the fun out of your business. Always keep in mind why you do what you do and what your main purpose is. You like taking photos, shooting videos, recording podcasts, writing, etc. That’s your passion. You do it to share information, to assist others in reaching their goals, to make your voice heard, etc. Whatever your main WHYs are, always remember that those are the driving forces behind everything you do and every achievement you unlock. Don’t let external factors come between you and your passion.
That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. At least for this post.
If I’ve convinced at least one of the people who read this to rethink their relationship with online platforms they do not own, and with the one that should be their main focus, my mission here is done and I am perfectly happy with the results.
Here’s to new, relevant content on all of our platforms!
This article was originally published on an external platform on May 12, 2022.